University of Hartford Director of Athletics Anton Goff announced that Kim McNeill has been hired as the Hawks’ head women’s basketball coach on May 25, 2016. McNeill has spent the past 16 seasons as an assistant coach at the Division I level, distinguishing herself as an effective and successful recruiter and coach.
McNeill, the eighth coach in program history, arrives at Hartford by way of the University of Virginia, where from 2011-13, she was an assistant coach under Joanna Boyle before being elevated to Associate Head Coach in 2013.
McNeill worked alongside Boyle for eight seasons, previously serving as an assistant coach on her staff at the University of Richmond (2004-05) and the University of California (2005-07). Prior to rejoining Boyle’s staff at Virginia, McNeill spent four seasons at the University of Georgia from 2007-11. Prior to her time at Richmond, McNeill worked three seasons (2000-01 and 2002-04) at James Madison.
McNeill is no stranger to helping build winning programs. Five of the six programs she has been a part of have earned berths to either the NCAA Tournament or the Postseason WNIT (California, Georgia, James Madison, Richmond and Virginia). She has been a part of 10 teams that have qualified for the postseason, guiding six squads to NCAA Tournament berths and four to appearances in the Postseason WNIT.
At Virginia, McNeill helped pilot the program to three WNIT appearances, including back-to-back berths in 2014-15 and 2015-16. The Cavaliers posted a 90-71 record during her five-year stint. Included in that time is the program’s first 25-win season since 1999-00 (2011-12). In her four seasons at Georgia, the Lady Bulldogs participated in four-consecutive NCAA Tournaments, advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 in both 2010 and 2011.
A talented recruiter – especially along the East Coast – McNeill helped Virginia land 13 players in the last five recruiting classes (2012-16) who ranked in the nation’s top-100. The Cavaliers’ 2016 recruiting class was ranked 13th nationally by ProspectsNation while the incoming 2016-17 class includes the Gatorade State Players of the Year from both New York and New Jersey. In addition, she helped Georgia ink 2008 and 2009 recruiting classes that were ranked among the nation’s top five.
At James Madison, she helped the Dukes make a run to the WNIT semifinals during her inaugural season in 2001. Between the two stints at JMU, she was an assistant coach at Howard University for one year.
A native of Bassett, Va., McNeill was a three-year letterwinner and co-captain at Richmond, where she received her bachelor’s degree in sport science in 2000. On the court, she was named to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) All-Defensive Team as a senior. Prior to transferring to Richmond, she was named the 1996 Big South Rookie of the Year at Radford.
McNeill and her husband, Cory McNeill, are the parents of three-year old twins.
Cory McNeill was named Associate Head Coach of the University of Hartford women's basketball team in June 2016. McNeill, who is the husband of head coach Kim McNeill, joined the Hawks after spending the last five seasons as an assistant coach at Virginia.
At Virginia, McNeill and his wife worked under head coach Joanne Boyle, where they helped the Cavaliers to a 90-71 record and three WNIT appearances, including back-to-back berths in 2015 and 2016.
Prior to joining the staff at Virginia, McNeill served as an assistant coach at Georgetown from 2007-11. During that time, the Baltimore, Md., native helped the Hoyas to one of the nation’s most impressive turnarounds, earning back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths for the first time in program history in 2010 and 2011. In addition, with McNeill’s prowess as a defensive coach, Georgetown became one of the nation’s leaders in forced turnovers and defensive field goal percentage.
McNeill’s coaching career began at Coppin State. In five seasons, he led the Eagles to two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championships, three regular-season MEAC Championships, two NCAA Tournament berths and a WNIT appearance. He played college basketball at Morgan State, where he received his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2002, and went on to earn his master’s degree in public administration in 2005 from the University of Baltimore.
Steve Pogue joined the University of Hartford women’s basketball team as an assistant coach for the 2016-17 season. Previously a member of the women’s basketball coaching staff at Bridgeport University, Pogue joins the Hawks as an assistant coach.
In his three seasons at Bridgeport, Pogue helped the Purple Knights increase their win total each year he was on staff. Last season, Bridgeport won 15 games, the most since the 2012-13 campaign. In addition to his coaching duties, he served as a Game Day Operations Assistant for the Purple Knights.
Prior to landing at Bridgeport, Pogue worked as an assistant women’s basketball coach for four seasons at Nyack College, his alma mater. As a standout, four-year member of the Nyack’s men’s basketball team, he helped the Warriors reach the 2010 NCCAA National Championship game.
A member of the WBCA who attended the Center of Coaching Excellence in 2016, Pogue graduated in 2010 from Nyack with a degree in business administration with a concentration in sports management.
Ali Heller joined the University of Hartford women’s basketball team’s coaching staff in September 2017. A former standout for the women’s basketball team at Rider, Heller comes to Hartford after a two-year stint as an assistant coach at Sacred Heart.
Brought on to the Pioneers’ coaching staff prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, Heller shared recruiting and scouting responsibilities while serving as the team’s travel, video and service coordinator. During her time at Sacred Heart, she helped lead the team to back-to-back WNIT Tournament appearances in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Prior to landing at Sacred Heart, Heller spent two seasons on the women’s basketball coaching staff at Jacksonville State where she assisted with the team’s backcourt. Under her leadership, the Gamecocks were among the best in the country at handling the ball in 2014-15, ranking No. 4 in Division I after committing just 11.2 turnovers per game.
Heller got her start in collegiate coaching at Lynn University, where she assisted with daily practices, recruiting, film exchange and community service.
A four-year letterwinner at Rider, Heller appeared in more than 90 games for the Broncs. In addition to eclipsing the 450-point mark on her career, she finished her career ranked among the program’s top-15 in three-point field goals with 106.
As a junior, Heller was named the 2011 MAAC Sixth Player of the Year after finishing No. 10 in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.433) while averaging 8.8 points per game that season. She graduated from Rider in 2012 with a degree in business administration.